Writing Box (Suzuri-Bako) with Design of a Deer
Attributed to Hon'ami Kōetsu, Japanese, 1558 - 1637
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The theme used for the design of this box is taken from classical Japanese poetry, where autumn is often associated with the foliage turning to brilliant hues in the mountain hillsides of Japan. The cry of the deer, lonely for its mate and piercing the silence of the hills, has inspired generations of poets and artists. The motif of scattered autumn leaves carries over into the interior of the box, which is equipped with a water dropper and stone used for preparing ink.
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